Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he offered former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) a pass on his 2012 election, if the Massachusetts Republican supported campaign finance reform — but Brown declined.
Because of that, Schumer said he recruited Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to run for the seat she occupies today.
“You know I helped persuade her to run. There is a good little story,” Schumer told the New Republic in an interview.
Schumer was referring to the Disclose Act, which fell three votes short of advancing in the Senate in 2010. The legislation would have required corporations to file campaign finance reports detailing their political spending. The House, controlled by Democrats at the time, had already passed the legislation.
The Schumer-sponsored measure was a reaction to a Supreme Court decision that rolled back political donation restrictions on corporations.
At the time, Brown, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) and former Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) appeared to be the most likely Republicans to support the bill. All voted “no,” despite strong lobbying from Democrats.
Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate who is seen as a likely successor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said “I’ve never had one of those plans” when asked about presidential ambitions.
He described his relationship with some potential GOP presidential candidates in 2016 as either “cordial” in the case of Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) or “formal” but “reserved” in the case of Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas).
Being from Brooklyn, Schumer defended New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) brash style when asked if it would hamper a potential presidential bid.
“What the public has a really good nose for is genuineness,” he said. “Chris Christie is Chris Christie. Here’s what I’d say about me: I’m from Brooklyn. Sometimes it helps me, sometimes it hurts me. But if I tried not to be from Brooklyn, I’d be worse than whatever I am.”